Smart not worried about Ellis' heavy workload
Much was made of Warriors guard Monta Ellis playing 48 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Coach Keith Smart didn't rest Ellis in Wednesday's loss, though Ellis had the task of carrying the Warriors offense and defending Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who got nearly 12 minutes of rest. But before Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Smart defended his decision.
"In games," Smart said, "I have a good read on him, and he indicates to me when he needs a blow. I'll see certain indicators that he is getting tired, for example, if he is settling for jump shots, and I will give him a rest. But he does a good job of getting himself prepared. He trains his body well and makes sure he is ready to play every game."
It was Ellis' fourth complete game of the season, not counting the 48 minutes, 33 seconds that he played in the overtime win at Sacramento. Ellis entered Friday averaging 41.1 minutes per game, tops in the NBA.
Ellis finally got a breather at 6:33 left in the second quarter Friday, after picking up his third foul.
Smart contends Ellis is in the best shape of his NBA career and has experience playing big minutes (averaged 41.4 last season).
"Our goal is to not have Monta lead the league in minutes," Smart said. "But it's not a concern."
The Warriors traded Diogu to Indiana as part of a deal that netted them Stephen Jackson in 2007. He's become a steady reserve for the Clippers since they signed him Dec. 22. In his first eight games with Los Angeles, he averaged 5.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 15.5 minutes.
Smart said he has a soft spot for their resolve thanks to his days as a journeyman trying to latch on somewhere.
"Smart," Radmanovic said, "is one of the best human beings I've ever met."
-- MARCUS THOMPSON II